Low water pressure isn’t something that most people think about until they experience it. While you can probably bear with it as you fill the sink to wash the dishes or do your teeth, it transforms a good shower into a poor one. You’ll notice the difference and should have the number of a good emergency plumber to hand.
However, before you ring them, it’s good to be aware of the most common reasons for low water pressure.
Work by the Water Board
If your pressure is normally okay and suddenly drops it could be because the water board is working in your area. If they have damaged the supply and caused a leak then the water is flowing out of the pipes, reducing the pressure at your faucet.
The best way to verify this is either to ring the water board or check if your neighbors are experiencing the same issue. If it’s a water board issue your neighbors will also be suffering.
If you have a leak at home this can also affect your water pressure, causing it to drop. You would think that a leak is obvious but this is not always the case. Many pipes are installed on walls and under the floors, making it difficult to locate a leak.
The best thing you can do is to stop using water for an hour. Take a water meter reading at the beginning and the end of the hour, if the reading has changed you have a water leak and need to find it.
A professional plumber is likely to be useful when searching for and fixing the leak.
If you don’t have a leak it’s possible that your pipes are partially clogged. This reduces the flow rate of the water and drops the pressure. You may notice the water pressure is only low in some areas of the house.
To locate a clog inside your pipes you’ll need to insert a small camera that can move through the pipes and locate any issues. This saves taking all the plumbing apart.
Minerals in your water can often build up to create a clog, they tend to collect around the joints in your pipes, making this a good starting point.
It can also be a result of debris coming in with your mains water, a fracture in the pipe can allow debris in and cause an array of issues.
This is probably only relevant if you’ve recently undertaken plumbing work and some of the valves have been shut. If they aren’t opened fully you’ll restrict the flow creating a drop in water pressure.
Check all the valves in your house to confirm they are fully open.
Pressure Regulator Fault
Houses that usually have high water pressure often have pressure regulators fitted to bring the supply pressure down to a more reasonable level. However, if these fail the pressure can increase or decrease, potentially causing your low-pressure issue.
The same is also true if you have a circulating pump to boost pressure. If it develops a fault your pressure will drop.